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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

206       HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

of the members of the Society for their work as teachers and
professors. After two years spent exclusively in spiritual exercises,
the Jesuit in training, having already completed the literary course,
went on to the study of philosophy. When he had devoted three
years to philosophy, he might teach as a " scholastic " in the
lowest classes of the gymnasium. Some years later he proceeded
to the study of theology or other branch of higher learning, and so
qualified himself to become a teacher of philosophy, and ultimately
a professor of the subject in which he had specialized. All through
this course, his capacity to teach others what he had learned was
considered quite as important as his own knowledge, and was
periodically tested along with it. Not only so, but provision was
made for the supervision and direction of his teaching at every
turn, especially at the beginning. " It would be most profitable
for the schools/5 reported the committee of six appointed by
Aquaviva, " if those who are to be Preceptors were privately
taken in hand by some one of great skill, and for two months or
more were trained by him in the method of reading, teaching,
writing, correcting and managing a class. If teachers have not
learned these things beforehand, they are forced to learn them
afterwards at the expense of their scholars; and then they will
acquire proficiency only when they have already lost in reputa-
tion ; and perchance they will never unlearn a bad habit'**

The most distinctive feature of the Jesuit system was the
deliberate attempt to suppress individual caprice, whether of
teacher or pupil, by subjecting every one to the authority of the
order and of the Church. The teacher had his whole way mapped
out for him with meticulous care, and had no choice of his own
with regard either to the materials or the methods of instruction.
" In questions which have already been treated by others," wrote
Aquaviva, " let no one follow new opinions, or in matters which
,in any way pertain to religion or are of any consequence, let no
one introduce new questions without consulting the Prefect
of Stjroies or the Superior. If it is still doubtful whether the thing
i^Jennissible, it will be well to ascertain the view of others of our
number on the matter and then determine what appears best for
the greater glory of God/'f The pupil, on the other hand, was
also made to feel the yoke of discipline in his learning. He must
constantly be under supervision and submissive to law. He must
* Hughes, Loyola, p. 160.           f J^ P 150.